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Closer Stock Watch
A.J. Ramos 320 ((Getty Images))
The switch from Steve Cishek to A.J. Ramos is just part of the larger mess in Miami. Our Chris Towers updates the Marlins and five other closer situations. Full Story
Related Links:
• Waiver Wire: Garcia, Howard relevant again?
• Prospects Report: Castillo, Singleton time?
• Towers: Rethinking Rodon | Platoon values
•  Check out Fantasy podcasts | FBT blogs
Experts


Al Melchior
Data Analyst
 
Waiver Wire: Keystone conundrums
 
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1Rusney Castillo, BOS, CF6533
2Lance McCullers, HOU, SP6189
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5Delino DeShields, TEX, LF5496
6Jaime Garcia, STL, SP5066
7Tsuyoshi Wada, CHC, SP4792
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Player News
Rival executive: Cubs willing to deal prospects Baez, Vogelbach
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:47 am ET) The Cubs appear willing to trade prospects Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach, a rival executive told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The executive suggests it is partly because both players were drafted by a previous regime.

However, Heyman writes the reality is there are issues with Baez and Vogelbach. Baez is working on cutting down his strikeouts and getting rid of the perception he "doesn't make contact," according to one rival's assessment. One scout said Vogelbach is a "30 fielder," using scout parlance for well-below average on the 20-80 scale.

Vogelbach was the Cubs' minor-league player of the month for April. The first baseman has a .328/.449/.515/.964 slash line through 39 games for Double-A Tennessee. He has a career .289/.382/.485/.867 slash line. He was a second-round pick in 2011.

Baez was sent to the minors after struggling in spring training. He missed some time due to a personal leave, but the former top-10 prospect has a .284/.369/.405/.774 slash line through 20 games for Triple-A Iowa. He has 22 strikeouts in 20 games.


Rival teams looking to struggling Brewers for possible deals
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:45 am ET) With the Brewers looking more and more like eventual sellers, rival teams are saying pitchers Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse have limited trade value, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Early on, teams seem to be preferring Lohse due to his pending free agency at the end of the season, and his excellent clubhouse presence. Both pitchers have struggled this season, each with an ERA over 5.00 in nine starts. 

Heyman also notes that teams are unsure if the Brewers would consider trading young shortstop Jean Segura, who is currently on the disabled list with a broken finger. There seems to also be uncertainty whether catcher Jonathan Lucroy or outfielder Carlos Gomez would be available, though Gomez would probably be the most likely to go since his contract is up after the 2016 season. 


Braves 2B Jace Peterson cools off after two-week tear
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:42 am ET) The hot streak that sent the numbers soaring for Braves second baseman Jace Peterson is decidedly over.

Peterson went on a 20-for-51 tear in late April and early May to catapult his average from .171 to .293 and increase his on-base percentage to .362. He has not gone into a slump, but he has certainly cooled off. Peterson has just five hits in 27 at-bats since.

His slash line is now at .269/.346/.328.


Marlins' Tom Koehler could go to bullpen when Fernandez returns
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:38 am ET) Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler's days in the rotation could be numbered. With youngster Jose Fernandez making his way back from Tommy John surgery, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports Koehler could be moved to the bullpen when Fernandez returns, which is likely a month or two away.

Heyman notes that Koehler is seen by some as a possible future closer, with one scout saying "he has the stuff to do it". The Marlins' troubles with the back-end of their bullpen have been well-documented, so if Koehler can in fact fill that role, it would be a welcomed relief for the club.


The Phillies may be stuck with Jonathan Papelbon's contract
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:37 am ET) The Phillies have been stuck with closer Jonathan Papelbon's contract, and may continue to be stuck moving forward, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Papelbon is making $13 million in 2015 and has a $13-million vesting option for 2016 that Milwaukee or another acquiring team may need to fully guarantee in order to get the pitcher to waive his no-trade clause.

"The dollars are just way too big," a rival GM said.


Shelby Miller's promising start has piqued interest of opposing teams
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Thanks to a strong start to the season, teams have begun to eye Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller as a potential trade target, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

However, Heyman writes it is hard to see the Braves moving Miller since he is still under team control through 2018.

The right-hander, who was acquired in an offseason trade with St. Louis, is coming off a two-hit shutout against the Marlins. He is 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA through eight starts.


Marlins P Henderson Alvarez has been pitching with torn UCL
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:32 am ET) Could the Marlins have rushed right-hander Henderson Alvarez back from the disabled list? Alvarez returned from the DL last weekend after suffering elbow tightness and shoulder inflammation, and had a rough start on Saturday against the Braves. But the Marlins needed him to come back with fellow starter Jarred Cosart placed on the DL with a bout of vertigo.

CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports that Alvarez has apparently been pitching with a 90-percent torn UCL for years, but has been able to get by without needing surgery.

Last year, Alvarez made 30 starts for the Marlins, and finished with a very impressive 2.65 ERA. It is worth wondering if Alvarez was in fact ready to return from his DL stint, or if the return will have any long-term ramifications.


Padres' Melvin Upton needs at least 40 at-bats before DL activation
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:30 am ET) With Yonder Alonso and Wil Myers sidelined with injuries, this could Padres outfielder Melvin Upton's best opportunity to show he can still contribute, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Upton, who has been sidelined all season with a left toe injury, began a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso on Monday. He is hitting .333 (3 for 9) with a double and an RBI in two games. He will need another 40 at-bats before he is activated from the disabled list.

"His pride is kicking in," a friend of Upton said. "He doesn't want to be remembered as the worst contract in baseball history."


Braves inquiry about Jonathan Lucroy rebuffed by Brewers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) With catcher Christian Bethancourt having a poor start to the season, the Braves inquired about Brewers starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. However, the Braves were told he was unavailable.

Bethancourt began the season as the Braves starting catcher, but he was quickly replaced by veteran A.J. Pierzynski after he struggled at and behind the plate.


Dodgers' Hector Olivera's contract has team option for seventh year
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:23 am ET) The six-year, $62.5 million contract for Dodgers Cuban-import Hector Olivera contains a club option for a seventh year, to protect themselves in case Olivera's elbow proves to be an issue, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

As Heyman notes, Olivera recently passed his physical and is in Arizona getting ready to join the team this summer. But the option year gives the team some insurance in case the elbow acts up. The amount of the option is not currently known. 


 
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